Ancestry DNA emailed me a few weeks ago to alert me that their science has improved, and that I am now identified as Norwegian. It is extremely odd to me that I was told I was not Norwegian at all, and now I’m 12%. The margin of error is tremendous. But I’ll take it! I felt weirdly at home when visiting Oslo last year with my mom. Probably because everyone there had a large frame, pale skin, and a familiar mix of mousy brown/blonde hair. All of my insecurities about my appearance were mirrored back at me with every woman that walked by, and I suddenly saw my “flaws” as something else completely. My Scandinavian roots burrowed into the earth as I nibbled on a Norwegian waffle covered in brown cheese, and I felt so at peace. It’s weird how being around people that look like you can have this affect. I suppose it’s that pack mentality from cave-people days or some such bullshit. I can’t fucking explain it, but that shit is real.
This one is tinged pink due to the radishes, which also make it smell like shit.
I’ve been selling baked goods under the name Eat Me Bakery (lolz) at the Plate and Parcel Holiday Market in Minneapolis. This last weekend, while perusing the other vendors, I found a lefse maker. Lefse is the Norwegian answer the French crepe, but better. Maybe someday I’ll learn to make it, but with my serious lack of Scandinavian traditions growing up (due to a lack of Scandinavian dad), I was never taught. I didn’t even know what it was until watching an episode of Girl Meets Farm a few months ago. Anyway, I was so excited to find the stuff that I just started blathering on about finding out about my Norwegian ancestry. Turns out, no one really cares because literally everyone in Minnesota is Norwegian.
Traditionally, lefse is eaten warm with butter and brown sugar. I tried it that way once, just to get the experience. Then I filled that fucker with eggs and cheese, and I am not sorry.
In addition to my newfound Norwegian-ness, I also got a message from my uncle. This is not an ordinary uncle. This is my uncle from my mystery side. It should be noted that I am the result of a sperm donor in the 80’s. That’s right. I’m basically a science experiment that went extremely right. You’re welcome, world. But that also means that I am missing an entire side of my family. So my uncle finally messaged me on Ancestry after making me wait 8+ months, and he gave me an email address. I emailed him immediately. Then, when I didn’t hear back after 15 minutes, I emailed him again. The second time I assured him that I don’t want anything (and I wouldn’t even be entitled to anything as an adult, I don’t think). All I want is to know. Wouldn’t you want to know? I had someone ask me if I expected to be invited over to Christmas when my paternal aunt refused to speak to me again. I mean, of course not. I’m not an idiot. I didn’t grow up with these people. But that doesn’t mean I can’t learn a little bit about them. Apparently my dad is refusing to allow people to speak with me, which I think is some seriously selfish bullshit. I didn’t ask to be born this way. It was a decision that was made by an adult, and that adult needs to realize there was a human created with that decision. There are consequences to your actions, people. You’d be lucky if I was one of those consequences.
It took me an inappropriate amount of time to remember how to spell refrigerator when titling this post, and that’s probably because I don’t have a dad.
I didn’t grow up making pickles, but it’s in my blood. My mom use to can a lot, back before I was born. We were cleaning out the basement a few months ago, when we came across a jar of pickles dated 1979. After a look of horror came across my face, my mom laughed and stated that canned items never go bad. She’s an engineer, so there isn’t room in her brain for nonsensical canning rules.
Refrigerator Dill Pickles (adapted from here)
3-4 pounds of cucumbers (small are best, but larger ones work too when sliced in rounds) OR banana peppers, carrots, radishes, bell peppers, green beans, jalapenos in any combination
A large bunch of dill, chopped
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced
Red pepper flakes (not really necessary if adding in some hot peppers)
2 quarts water
1/3 cup salt (pickling salt is ideal, but not required – I used regular table salt and nothing exploded)
Slice all veggies in desired shapes. I like spears for cucumbers, but will add in rounds when I have extra space. I also like to throw banana peppers and/or jalapenos into the jar with the cukes to add some spice. Don’t do this if you can’t handle spice, or if you’re gifting them to someone with a delicate palate (literally most Minnesotans). Set aside veggies. Using about 4 quart sized canning jars with lids, add in about 5-6 peppercorns, a teaspoon of mustard seed, a pinch of fennel seeds, a cloves or two of garlic, and a handful of chopped dill. Once all the jars are prepared with the seasoning, add in the fresh veggies. You can really pack ’em in there, but make sure to leave some space at the top to add more dill and garlic. Once full, top with a few more sprigs of dill and another clove of garlic.
In a sauce pan over high heat, add in both vinegars, water, and salt. Bring to a simmer, lower heat to medium, and stir until all the salt has been dissolved. Pour into each jar, making sure that all veggies are fully covered. Leave about 1/2″ at the top. If you run out of liquid like I did, just add a little water to that last jar. It’ll be fine. Cover ’em all with their lids, and let them sit on the counter for a day or two. Then place them in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
If you’re like me, the only reason you’ll remember about them is because they take up so much fucking space in the fridge. If you’re like T, you’ll be counting down the days. Once you open them, try not to devour them all in one sitting. You’ll be inconsolable.
If you did radishes, be prepared for the stench. Barf.